Monthly Archives: April 2015

Thanks, Darwin: Bed Bug Evolution

Bed bugs have always been with us. Where humans have lived, bed bugs have fed off their blood–for millennia. Human blood hasn’t changed, but have bed bugs? Bed bug evolution!

Bed Bug History

Bed bugs probably started out as bat bugs–living off the warm blooded bats in caves. When humans moved into the caves with the bats, the bed bug evolution took over and moved their parasitical lives over to the larger creatures, perfectly understandable. We offered much more food than bats.

As the human population grew and became more mobile, living in villages, town and cities and traveling to distant lands, bed bugs too found new places to live and new countries to explore.

By 100 A.D., they were a well-known presence in Italy, in 600 A.D. in China, in the 1200s in Germany and the 1400s in France. Heat that was generated from cooking and sleeping fires afforded the bugs a comfortable life in the wealthiest families residing in castles and the less fortunate working class living in huts. —Bedbugs.org

Bed bugs were at one time believed to have medicinal value for ear infections and snake bites, and even hysteria. We think they probably caused more hysteria than they cured–like today!

Bed bugs came to America with the settlers and made the New World their new home. By the early 20th Century, most people had personal experience with bed bugs, but by the 1950’s, bed bugs were hard to find.

DDT was very successful at eradicating bed bugs and other pests, but, of course, it turned out to be dangerous to other creatures as well and in 1972 its use was banned due to its cancer-causing properties and the damage it was doing to bird populations like the Bald Eagles in the US.

Bed Bugs Today

Bed bugs didn’t just come back from DDT, they came back stronger. Populations that survived to today have thicker exoskeletons with waxier surfaces that resist pesticides better. They also have faster metabolisms to deal with those chemicals more quickly, before they can kill. Bed bugs in other countries had longer exposures to DDT and developed even better resistance to pesticides. When they travel from those places to cities, they are very hard to eradicate.

What can you do about today’s bed bugs?

Modern bed bugs are pesticide resistant. And DDT is no longer an option. The safest and most effective treatment for today’s bed bugs is high temperatures. Heat kills bed bugs and their eggs without pesticides. Whether a bed bug is a weakling from the 1800’s or a 21st Century megabug, heat will still do the job!

4th Annual Dinner with Friends is May 2nd!

It is almost here! Our biggest and most exciting fundraising event of the year–the Dinner with Friends in support of the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego!

This is the fourth time Carlos Sanguinetti and Matt Teeter have taken the helm, and and hopefully it will be the fourth time our fundraising goals are reached and surpassed. This year’s goal, you ask?

$100,000!

We know we can do it, with your help! You can either buy tickets or make a donation here!

We will have fabulous food and drinks from:

  • Busalacchi Restaurants
  • Stella Public House
  • Lightning Brewery
  • Southern Wine & Spirits
  • Golden Coast Mead
  • Clase Azul Tequila
  • COLDCOCK Whiskey
  • California Fruit Wine Co.
  • Popcakery custom cake jars

And our amazing silent auction features offerings like:

2 Night Stay at Palomar Mountain Cabin Where the Night Lights are Real–Enjoy the 180 degree view of San Diego County from the deck of a cabin on Palomar Mountain. The deck is perfect for stargazing, and the cabin is a short drive from the world famous Palomar Observatory. Nearby Palomar Mountain State Park offers hiking and fishing opportunities. Wake up to the sounds of birds singing and hummingbird wings whirring around the feeders. This cozy cabin sleeps ten, two in the master bedroom, two in a second bedroom, and four in a loft accessed by a pull down ladder.

4 One-Day Parkhopper passes to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Parks

VIP chargers training camp visit for 6 with pics with players after practice

4 Field Box VIP Tickets to Padres vs. Mets

And much, much more!

Won’t you join us? And if you are unable to attend, could you make a donation?

The Ronald McDonald House is a home-away-from-home for the families of critically ill or injured children from around the world. In June of 2009, Carlos was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He has since made a full recovery, but this life experience caused both Carlos and Matt to reevaluate their contributions to the community. They both shared the same vision of helping others in need. Carlos had heard good things about Ronald McDonald House Charities and in September of 2009 Carlos and his wife Shana organized our first volunteer event on behalf of the organization. Since then we have been committed to this amazing organization.

Please help us reach our goal and make this the most successsful Dinner with Friends ever! 

Improving Air Quality Today

Air pollution is a big problem all over the world. In London, in Delhi, in Haifa, in Beijing, and here in Los Angeles. When we look at the photos of smog over a famous skyline, we feel powerless to affect the air quality over such a large area, even though we know it is damaging to our health and that of our friends, loved ones, and neighbors. But improving air quality can happen–indeed, it will only happen–when each of us does what we can.

How does air pollution affect our health?

Air pollution has been linked to:

Heart disease

Lung cancer

Burst appendix

Allergies

Asthma

Immune system issues

How can we help reduce air pollution in our environment?

  • Drive less, bike and walk more
  • Take public transportation
  • Don’t idle when waiting to pick up kids from school or other activities
  • Reduce energy usage at home
  • Observe no-burn days
  • Follow smog regulations for your car

The air has improved tremendously in Los Angeles in recent years, but the importance of improving our air quality only increases. The more we know, the more we know we have to do better.

Beijing, Haifa, London and even Los Angeles have a long way to go before we can be sure our air quality is what it should be. Are you doing everything you can to support improving air quality where you live?

7 Biggest Bed Bug Myths

What do you know about bed bugs? There are a lot of bed bug myths hiding in corners and we are determined to find them and put them to rest. Here’s the straight scoop about these annoying pests!

7 Bed Bug Myths:

  1. Bed Bugs only feed at night–Bed bugs don’t like the light, but they can bite any time there is an opportunity.
  2. If your home is clean, you won’t get bed bugs–Bed bugs are equal opportunity eaters, they don’t care if your house is small or large, clean or dirty. If they get in and find human blood, they will set up housekeeping.
  3. Bed Bug bites will show up right away–Bed bug bites can take as long as a 7-10 days to show on your skin. By the time you see bite marks, the infestation can be pretty far along. Better to go by inspection of bed linens, mattress seams and other easy places for them to hide.
  4. Bed bugs carry disease, like mosquitos–Bed bugs have not been proven to carry disease, although the jury is still out on a protozoan. However, bed bug bites (and scratching them) can cause infections.
  5. Bed bugs cannot travel from floor to bed–Although bed bugs neither fly nor jump, they do crawl and they can crawl not only from floor to bed but from apartment to apartment, drawn by your exhaled carbon dioxide.
  6. Bed bugs only live in beds–Wouldn’t that be nice? Unfortunately bed bugs can live in any upholstered furniture and hide behind pictures on the walls, in bedside table drawers and travel in suitcases.
  7. Bug bombs will kill bed bugs–Not only are bug bombs ineffective against bed bugs, they can be dangerous if not used strictly according to instructions. Often people who discover they have bed bugs get very upset and overreact when trying DIY solutions, neglecting health and safety in a desire to deal with the infestation as quickly as possible.

What is the quickest and most effective treatment for bed bugs? Heat! Thermapure Heat kills bed bugs–and their eggs–in one treatment without dangerous chemical pesticides. Contact us for more information!

 

Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2015

It may be April Fool’s Day, but we are not fooling when we warn you about the dangers of asbestos. This week is Global Asbestos Awareness Week and we want to make sure that you are aware of the risks you could be taking if you tackle home renovation projects that involve asbestos containing materials.

Where can asbestos be found?

asbestos-in-home

 What about in a Commercial Property?

asbestos hides

We hope that you take our warnings about the dangers of asbestos exposure seriously. Especially in spring, when we all want to tackle home improvement projects in the warm (but not too hot) weather, it would be easy to neglect the very real risks posed by trying to remove asbestos yourself.

Don’t do it!

Here is an excerpt from a documentary film entitled “The Evil Dust, a history of Asbestos” that we thought might make you more careful:

Asbestos: The Evil Dust

Of course, we all want that old pipe insulation, that ancient linoleum, those roof shingles out of our homes and out of our environment. But if you don’t do it the right way, removing those materials can be worse than leaving them in place. Contact a professional asbestos abatement company before you endanger your own health or that of your family.